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Serving Up the Finest in the American
Restaurant and Hotel Industries


The Hospitality Industry is America's foundational employer:

  • The restaurant industry (pre-COVID in March 2020) employed more than 15 million people, representing 10 percent of the total American workforce!
  • Nearly 50 percent of all adults have worked in the restaurant industry at least once during their life, and over 25 percent of adults worked their first job in a restaurant.
  • The Hotel and Lodging industry supports 1 in all 25 American jobs.

The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projections report that by 2028 the hospitality industry will have a labor shortage of 10,033,000 workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also estimates an annualized employee turnover rate of 73.8% in the hospitality industry. This figure is striking consider most HR experts agree a healthy turnover rate should actually be somewhere in the 10-15% range.

We are here to help.

First step- get a plan! A recruiting plan. Review staffing needs over the past 2-3 years. Develop action plans to implement and measure the effectiveness of your chosen recruiting strategies. Get your employees involved. Hold contests and make it exciting for them to help you find great talent- just like them! Celebrate the successes and reward longevity and performance.

Top 10 Strategies for Recruiting Hospitality Workers:

  1. Employee Referral Plans: Pay every employee to be a recruiter. Your current employees are the richest source of referrals for new hires. They understand the business, the culture, and the demands. When talking about their job with friends and family, they tend to be very honest about the good, the bad, and the horrific of working for you. So if they bring you a friend, good chance there is not much “recruiting or selling” of the position to be done.

  2. The One Company Job Fair. Why share? In lieu of attending a large jobfair event with many other employers vying for the same applicants, contact local schools. Ask if you could just set up a booth in the student center or cafeteria. Want hordes of folks to come over to your table? Bring free food (in exchange for their resume and/or cell phone number and permission to add them to your database of people receiving your email/text job listings).

  3. Use Social Media to Market Open Position Listings. Only 23% of all American households receive a Sunday newspaper. 74% of all American households have access to the internet in their homes. Use all relevant social media sites to broadcast your opportunities. List why your organization is a great place to work. 

  4. Former Employees. Are they ambassadors or outcasts? Keep in touch and reward their referrals. Recruit them back.

  5. Loyal Customers/Guests. These people are already fans of your product and service! Ask them if they personally know of someone who would enjoy being an integral part of delivering the product they so obviously enjoy. Reward their referrals with gift certificates to your restaurant/hotel property.

  6. Table Top Specials: Have all your marketing and sales tools do double duty- One side of the table tent encourages customers to order your absolutely awesome apple pie and the other encourages them to apply for an absolutely awesome career opportunity.  For the hoteliers, add a page in the Directory of Services binder in each room, encouraging right-fit talent to apply. 

  7. Marquee Signs: Have your marquee say, ‘Always interviewing folks with a smokin’ good attitude!’ (a good one for BBQ restaurants!). Use verbiage that matches your brand.

  8. Vendors. The foodservice and linen distributors that market and deliver to your hotel/restaurant see your competitors all over your town! Ensure they are aware of your openings and the advantages your employees enjoy working for you. Ask if they know of any “superstars” who may be interested in working for you. Pay them a referral bonus (of some form).

  9. Train All Supervisors and Managers to be Exceptional Servant Leaders. Great employees don't quit their job, they quit their boss. Absolutely ensure you, your supervisors, and managers are naturally inclined and also, well trained, in servant leadership, coaching, praising and conflict resolution.

  10. Keep the Ones You Already Have! Employee retention and customer/guest retention are forever intertwined. Employee turnover burns your bottom line.  When employee retention is high, your need to engage in reactive recruiting is low because top talent will indeed, walk right in your doors seeking an opportunity to work with you!

Learn more about our consulting, training and keynote speaking services for the hospitality industry, here.

If you're a hospitality professional, we warmly welcome your inquiry, questions and comments. Contact us!



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"Recently our Meeting Planners International chapter had the pleasure and excitement of having Ms. Kristine Sexter of WorkWise Productions as our Monthly Guest Speaker.

While I am aware that as professional meeting planners we are often fortunate to work with great speakers, Ms. Sexter was extraordinary.

Specifically what made Ms. Sexter's presentation, "The Top Five Characteristics of Wildly Successful People (Caution: It Gets Really Wild!)" memorable was: "Kristine conducted customized and individualized pre-program marketing. All members of our chapter received a personalized postcard in the mail encouraging their attendance. This was followed by emails and lastly, personal phone calls to many of our members. She created quite a "buzz." This pre-program marketing was certainly one of the reasons for an above-average attendance.
" Ms. Sexter's material was poignant, timely and content-rich. It was obvious she knew our industry and applied the material to our strengths and challenges. Her delivery style was highly professional, poised and polished. Overwhelmingly, our members gave her, and the program, rave reviews.

"Here's the really incredible element: This program, "The Top Five Characteristics of Wildly Successful People (Caution: It Gets Really Wild!)" was the most unique, powerful and audience-pleasing program we have seen in a very long time. (Please call Kristine and ask her to tell you the secret as to why it "really does get wild!").

I would not hesitate to recommend and utilize Kristine as a speaker for any of our clients or management teams. She certainly will exceed your  expectations!"

- Amy Leet | President, OK Meeting Planners Int